Democracy Now

Subscribe to Democracy Now feed Democracy Now
Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.
Updated: 2 hours 46 min ago

One Year After Parkland, 1,200 More Kids Are Dead by Gunfire—But Students Still Fight for Gun Safety

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 08:45

It’s been one year since the devastating massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that galvanized the nation to take action against gun violence and turned a generation of young people into activists. On February 14, 2018, a former student armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire, gunning down 17 students, staff and teachers in just three minutes. It was one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Students who survived the massacre quickly came to national prominence as leading activists for gun control. We speak with Lois Beckett, senior reporter at The Guardian covering gun policy. Her latest piece is titled “'We can't let fear consume us’: why Parkland activists won’t give up.”

Roberto Lovato: Elliott Abrams Is Bringing Violence of 1980s U.S. Latin America Policy to Venezuela

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 08:24

President Trump met with Colombian President Iván Duque at the White House Wednesday to discuss ongoing efforts to topple the Venezuelan government, the same day that U.S. special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams faced questioning from Congress about his role in atrocities carried out in Latin America in the 1980s. This includes defending Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt’s campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people. We speak with Roberto Lovato, independent journalist working out of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, about the violent history of Elliott Abrams and the U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela.

Ilhan Omar Grills Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams on U.S.-Backed Genocide, Death Squads & Massacres

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 08:16

The new U.S. special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday on U.S. efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Abrams spoke three weeks after the U.S. recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s new president. Since then, the U.S. has placed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil company and rejected calls for an international dialogue to resolve the crisis. Elliott Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was convicted in 1991 for lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people in Guatemala in the 1980s. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Abrams was also linked to the 2002 coup in Venezuela that attempted to topple Hugo Chávez. Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota questioned Abrams about his record on Wednesday during his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Atlanta School Cheating Scandal: The Untold Story of Corporate Greed & Criminalization of Teachers

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 08:30

As teacher strikes in Denver and Los Angeles join a wave of recent labor actions bringing attention to the plight of the American public school system, we take a fresh look at one of the largest public school scandals in U.S. history. Public schools in Atlanta, Georgia, were thrown into chaos in 2015 when 11 former educators were convicted in 2015 of racketeering and other charges for allegedly facilitating a massive cheating operation on standardized tests. Prosecutors said the teachers were forced to modify incorrect answers and students were even allowed to fix their responses during exams. The case has fueled criticism of the education system’s reliance on standardized testing, and elicited calls of racism. Thirty-four of the 35 educators indicted in the scandal were African-American. We speak with Shani Robinson, one of the 11 convicted teachers, who has written a new book on the cheating scandal with journalist Anna Simonton. It’s titled “None of the Above: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal, Corporate Greed, and the Criminalization of Educators.”

Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties

Wed, 02/13/2019 - 08:14

A North Carolina-based air freight company has halted flights to Venezuela following a report by McClatchy linking it to possible arms smuggling. Last week, Venezuelan authorities claimed they had uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90 military-grade radio antennas on board a U.S.-owned plane that had flown from Miami into Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city. The Boeing 767 is owned by a company called 21 Air based in Greensboro, North Carolina. The plane had made nearly 40 round-trip flights between Miami and spots in Venezuela and Colombia since January 11, the day after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in to a second term. The flights ended after McClatchy first reported on them. Venezuela accused the U.S. government of sending the arms as part of its attempt to topple the Maduro government. While no definitive links between 21 Air and the U.S. government have been established, McClatchy reports the chairman of 21 Air, Adolfo Moreno, as well as another employee at the company have ties to Gemini Air Cargo, which was involved in the CIA’s rendition program during the administration of George W. Bush. We speak to McClatchy reporter Tim Johnson, who broke the story. Johnson was part of a team that shared a 2017 Pulitzer Prize for its investigation of the Panama Papers.

The End of Ice: Dahr Jamail on Climate Disruption from the Melting Himalayas to Insect Extinction

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 08:32

A new report finds at least a third of the Himalayan ice cap will melt by the end of the century due to climate change, even if the world’s most ambitious environmental reforms are implemented. The report, released by the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment earlier this month, is the culmination of half a decade’s work by over 200 scientists, with an additional 125 experts peer reviewing their work. It warns rising temperatures in the Himalayas could lead to mass population displacement, as well as catastrophic food and water insecurity. The glaciers are a vital water source for the 250 million people who live in the Hindu Kush Himalaya range, which spans from Afghanistan to Burma. More than 1.5 billion people depend on the rivers that flow from the Himalayan peaks. We speak with Dahr Jamail, independent journalist and author of the new book “The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption.”

Wright State Faculty Ends One of the Longest Strikes at a Public University in U.S. History

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 08:21

In Dayton, Ohio, faculty members at Wright State University have just concluded one of the longest public university strikes in U.S. history. On Sunday, the university’s administration reached a tentative contract agreement with the faculty union’s executive committee, which union members will vote to ratify in coming days. The strike began late last month, when the university imposed a contract on faculty members that worsened working conditions and decreased benefits. When the administration refused to negotiate, 85 percent of Wright State University’s union members voted to authorize a strike. We speak with Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the American Association of University Professors. He is the chief negotiator for the association’s chapter at Wright State University, where he is professor emeritus of economics.

Denver Teachers Strike over Bonus-Based Pay System, Demanding Reliable Salary Plan & Better Wages

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 08:09

Public school teachers in Denver, Colorado, are striking for the second day, after negotiations between the teachers’ union and the school district failed to reach a contract over the weekend. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association is demanding an increase in teachers’ base salaries rather than putting money in incentives and bonuses. The Denver teachers walked out Monday following 15 months of negotiations over a controversial bonus-based pay system that educators say leaves them unable to predict their salaries and guarantee financial security. The starting salary for a Denver teacher for the 2019-2020 school year is $43,255, according to The Denver Post. This is the district’s first teacher strike in 25 years. We speak with Henry Román, a Denver elementary school teacher and president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association.

Greenwald: How Can Democrats Support Trump's Push for Regime Change to Seize Venezuela’s Oil?

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:54

The U.S. and Russia have proposed opposing draft resolutions at the U.N. Security Council as the leadership crisis in Venezuela deepens. The U.S. is calling for elections in Venezuela and for international aid deliveries to be allowed to enter the country. The Russians called out international intervention in the affairs of Venezuela and the threat of foreign military action. The Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro is accusing the United States of attempting to stage a coup. We speak to The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald about the actions of Washington and of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

"This Is Just the Beginning": Greenwald on Rising State Violence & Homophobia in Bolsonaro's Brazil

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:47

On Friday, an operation by Brazilian military police in Rio de Janeiro left at least 13 people dead after a shootout in the neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Police say they were there to investigate suspected drug traffickers but encountered gunfire when they entered the area. Last month, Rio’s new governor, Wilson Witzel, said that city security forces were authorized to shoot to kill suspects. He also said Rio should have its own Guantánamo Bay to house criminals, whom he labeled “terrorists.” Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, has vowed to intensify the war on drugs. While running for president, Bolsonaro said a “good criminal is a dead criminal.” In other news from Brazil, Brazil’s first elected openly gay federal lawmaker, Jean Wyllys, recently left his post and fled Brazil, amid growing homophobic violence coinciding with the rise of Bolsonaro. He was replaced in Brazil’s Congress by David Miranda, a Rio city councilmember and husband of our guest, Glenn Greenwald.

Glenn Greenwald Defends Rep. Ilhan Omar: Criticizing Israeli Lobby & AIPAC Is Not Anti-Semitic

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:41

Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is facing criticism today after commenting on a tweet by Glenn Greenwald. On Sunday, Greenwald tweeted, ”GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans.” Rep. Omar retweeted his post and added the line: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” She later named AIPAC as the organization paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.

Glenn Greenwald: As Bezos Protests Invasion of His Privacy, Amazon Builds Global Surveillance State

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:14

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is publicly accusing the owner of the National Enquirer of “extortion and blackmail,” weeks after the paper revealed details about his extramarital affair. Bezos had recently hired a private investigator to determine how the tabloid newspaper obtained private text messages between him and his lover, and whether the paper’s actions were politically motivated. The National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, Inc., responded to Bezos’s investigation by threatening to publish revealing photos of Bezos if he did not agree to publicly state that the Enquirer’s coverage was not politically motivated or influenced by political forces. We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald about the dispute and Amazon’s role in building the surveillance state.

Dems Accuse Trump Admin of "State-Sponsored Child Abuse" as Separated Migrant Children Scandal Grows

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 08:48

Trump administration officials are acknowledging that there may be thousands more missing immigrant children who were separated from their parents than originally reported. This was the focus of a hearing on Thursday of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. We speak to Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. He is the lead lawyer on the ACLU’s national challenge to the Trump administration’s family separation practice. He testified at the hearing yesterday.

Ocasio-Cortez & Markey Unveil Sweeping "Green New Deal" to Radically Shift U.S. Off Fossil Fuels

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 08:39

After months of anticipation, Democratic New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey introduced a resolution for the Green New Deal Thursday, presenting a sweeping plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, make major investments in public transit and federal jobs, fully transition the U.S. electricity off fossil fuels and codify indigenous peoples’ rights to prior consent and approval for decisions that affect them. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed to mock the proposal on Wednesday, referring to it as a “green dream, or whatever they call it.” We speak to journalist Kate Aronoff, a fellow at the Type Media Center and a contributing writer to The Intercept and Jacobin.

Planned Parenthood: SCOTUS Halts Louisiana Abortion Law for Now, But Roe v. Wade Fate Uncertain

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 08:12

The Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a restrictive Louisiana anti-choice law from going into effect Thursday, in a major victory for reproductive rights advocates. The case was seen as a litmus test for determining whether millions of women across the nation will continue to have access to abortions. The divided court ruled 5 to 4 in favor of an emergency appeal by a Louisiana-based abortion provider, Hope Medical Group for Women, to temporarily block a Republican-backed law that could have left the state with just a single doctor legally allowed to perform abortions. The law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. Pro-choice groups call such statutes TRAP laws, or “targeted regulation of abortion providers.” We speak to Dr. Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Pages